If it is Out of Sight, it is Out of Mind

I would like to begin by admitting that I barely passed macroeconomics my senior year. Therefore, I had absolutely no idea what this article was talking about. Of course, that is no one’s fault except mine and maybe my macroeconomics teacher. Regardless, something that stuck with me was the following excerpt, “…while individual actors are pursuing their best self-interest, they are simultaneously jeopardizing the interest of the community” (Krugman, 239). Our society has developed this sort of out of sight out of mind mentality. Sometimes we get so caught up in ourselves that we forget how our actions impact others. It is difficult for many people to empathize with a cause that is not directly affecting them. it is important to note that, this mentality is not entirely our faults. Humans are not inherently evil or ruled by greed, though some most definitely are. Personally, I would have to say that technology, especially technology that promotes social media, has had a hand in conditioning us to carry this mindset. Do not get me wrong, technology and the advancement thereof has benefited society in so many ways that it is almost impossible to list them all. Nevertheless, this mentality is just an unintentional consequence of technological advancement; something that none of us could have predicted would occur. Most of us own a cell phone, a computer, or both. Within these devices we have created our own little universes that we can escape to whenever reality is not satisfying our wants and needs. Now with that in mind, let us talk about asthma. Yes, I understand its totally off topic but just bear with me and I promise it will make sense, or at least I hope it will. I do not have asthma, and I have only had to use inhaler once when I was 7 years old. The possibility of dying from an asthma attack has never crossed my mind. However, my sister does have asthma. But do I care? Not particularly. Of course, I do not want her to die but it is not something I necessarily worry about considering the following: it does not affect me personally nor have I ever witnessed her being affected by it. That is until one day I learned that my sister suffered from an asthma attack when she was doing volunteer work in San Antonio, Texas. I am not sure exactly what they were doing, but from what I recall it had to do with building houses for the less fortunate. Apparently, the copious amounts of sawdust triggered her asthma attack, and she was immediately rushed to the hospital. It was in that moment that asthma became a part of my little universe. Basically, I was desensitized to the reality of this condition and the effect it has on other people until it affected me personally. As a result of that occurrence, I developed an understanding as well as the desire to ensure that my sister would never have to suffer like that again. Now if we apply this scenario to modern day, there are a lot of problems that we choose to ignore because we believe that it is not our problem. I can guarantee that if you opened up Instagram or Snapchat right now you probably see a news feed that talks about some rapper getting shot, or a young girl that committed suicide as a result of bullying, or someone that just recently died of COVID-19. Our lives are bombarded with information about all of these terrible things and of course we sympathize, but then we move on or scroll to the next thing that catches our eye. this in mind, we have also been desensitized to the reality of climate change, plastic pollution, greenhouse gas emissions, etc., and how it is affecting our world. Still, just because we are not necessarily seeing the negative effects or dealing with the immediate consequences, does not mean that any of these things are not happening. But, like I previously stated, we have been conditioned to believe that if it’s out of sight, it does not exist in our little universe. I could probably go on and on for days about this topic, but I would like to move on to something I found particularly interesting about our class discussion. I learn that social entrepreneurship differs from say a business or technological entrepreneurship in the sense that their focus and approach to problems are unique. An entrepreneur is someone who is not afraid to roll up their sleeves and get the work done. They view obstacles and problems as an opportunity to grow and they take on the risk with the expectation of reaping the rewards. Similarly, a social entrepreneur will take on a risk with the intention of reaping a different kind of reward: social capital. These individuals gain satisfaction through improving the quality of life not only for themselves but the people around them as well. An example of a social entrepreneur is Blake Mycoskie who is the founder of TOMS shoes. TOMS agreed that for every one-pair of shoes sold, a pair would be donated to those in need. In fact, Mycoskie invested $300,000 of his own money into the company in support of the cause. As a 2019, TOMS has provided individuals living in developing countries with 95 million pairs of shoes. Since discovering what social entrepreneurship is and learning about current social entrepreneurs, I have realized that this is something I would like to take part in. No matter where I end up in life or what I end up becoming, I only hope that one day I will be able to follow in the footsteps all these social entrepreneurs and help make the world a better place.

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